A timely coming of age novel set against a backdrop of the controversial issue of fracking.
Eleven-year-old Fern's rundown home borders a pristine forest, where her impoverished family hunts and forages for food. It's also her refuge from the crushing responsibility of caring for her wild younger brothers and PTSD-stricken stepfather. But when a fracking company rolls into town, Fern realizes that her special grove could be ripped away, and no one else seems to care.
Her stepfather thinks a job with the frackers could help pull the family out of poverty. Her wealthy grandfather--who wants to take custody of Fern and her brothers--likes the business it brings to his manufacturing company. Facing adversity from all sides, can one young girl make a difference in the fate of her family and their way of life?
This modern, beautifully written story from the acclaimed author of Wonder at the Edge of the World explores the timely themes of poverty, environmental protection, what makes a family, and finding your place in the world.
* "This nuanced take on a pressing issue is an important one. Middle-grade readers will find much to think about in this beautifully written story."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A stunning take on the environment, broken families, poverty, forgiveness, and death. Helget writes with grace, elegance, and humor about coming of age in a flawed world filled with beauty and peril. A poignant, uplifting, and entirely gripping read."
—Pete Hautman, National Book Award winning author of Godless
Nicole Helget is the acclaimed author of the middle grade novel Wonder at the Edge of the World and The End of the Wild,as well as three adult novels, The Turtle Catcher, The Summer of Ordinary Ways, and Stillwater. She has also co-authored a middle grade novel, Horse Camp, and she invites you to visit her online at nicolehelget.blogspot.com and @NicoleHelget. She lives in St. Peter, Minnesota.